Sunday, October 26, 2014

#52New Foods... Sweet Potato and Persimmon Dessert Soup & Book Giveaway

I couldn't be more thrilled to collaborate with 
Jennifer Tyler Lee, founder of the award winning Crunch a Color game, on the launching of her inspiring new book The 52 Foods Challenge! When I received my copy of the book, I was eager to dig into it, flipping through the pages like a kid at the candy store, nodding at the simple delicious family-friendly recipes and getting truly inspired for future meals in my home. I instantly became a fan... Lee not only challenged herself a step at a time to get her kids to eat healthy, nutritious food but she turned it into a game and the fun was the start of their new healthier relationship with food: 52 weeks, 52 new foods! Trying one new food a week is such a smart, feasible idea! I will be giving away one copy of this incredible book... scroll down to the end to learn more.

As a mom of three young boys five and under, I know how incredibly hard it can be to get them to eat a balanced meal, especially their vegetables! It’s one of the most crazy and frustrating undertakings you'll ever go through as a parent. In spite of cooking being my profession, getting mine to eat the rainbow has been met with death stares, full-on tantrums and hostile battles. But I've come to realize that it's about more than just food, but the steps in the journey our family takes to celebrate our positive milestones with food. Like an old Chinese proverb goes, "it is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward."

So as the T
he 52 New Foods Challenge book suggests... make it a GAME! When my kids won't eat Chinese stir-fried celery, I asked them to let me hear how loud they could crunch it; when my kids won't touch their green beans, I dared them to eat it whole from one end to the other without breaking it; when my kids turned their nose up to kale and potato soup, I challenged them to who could finish first and win a treat at the meal's end. This could be a small sweet treat or an extra book to be read to before bed. And it's been working! Otherwise, find out what specifically it is about the food or ingredient that turns your kids away and find another format to cook/serve it. Don't give up...

Case in point, I would like to share with you an easy four ingredient healthy Chinese dessert soup using sweet potatoes and persimmons, fall ingredients that are featured in Lee's book. Sweet potatoes and ginger soup is a traditional Chinese favourite found in most dessert houses in Hong Kong. Sweet potatoes are nutritious and high in Vitamin A. Fuyu persimmons with sources of Vitamins A and C are crisp and sweet, but they can taste slightly astringent and can smell funny when cut. The ah-ha! moment came when my kids couldn't get pass their smell to eat it... and I thought what a unique twist it would be in this dessert instead of adding the usual dried red dates. The astringency and smell of persimmon disappear when cooked and it adds a nice crispy sweet texture alongside soft starchy potatoes! Traditionally ginger is used but you can omit it. My kids love ginger so the soup's combination works for us! A light, easy and healthy dessert revered for its heart warming and revitalizing properties, especially when you are down with a cold and soothing to eat any time.

Chinese Sweet Potato and Persimmon Dessert Soup
Makes 6 servings

1 to 2 inches fresh gingerroot, skinned and thinly sliced (adjust to your level of zestiness or omit)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
4 cups water
1 fuyu persimmon, peeled and cut into eights, then halved (choose firm slightly underripe fruit)
1 (60 g) piece raw brown sugar (if not available, can substitute with 2-3 Tbsp. brown sugar)

Bring water to a boil; add ginger and sweet potatoes, cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes, adding persimmon and sugar during the last five minutes. Serve hot or cold!

Vibrant orange is the colour of our food adventure today!

I hope you join me in this series over the next few weeks as my family and I eat our way to adventures with new foods and sharing my success tips along the way. By teaching our kids at an early stage food smarts, good eating habits and making food fun, engaging and inspiring to prepare and eat, it will last their lifetimes! Start with small steps, but we can get there...


Simply comment to this post or Susan's Savour-It! on Facebook with what your mealtime challenges are at home or what you do to win over your picky eater? I’d love to hear from YOU!

All comments will be considered an entry to win a copy of THE 52 NEW FOODS CHALLENGE BOOK! All comments must be entered by midnight of NOVEMBER 8TH. On November 9th I will announce the winner under the comments section of this post and Susan's Savour-
It! The winner will have 48 hours to respond, or another winner will be chosen. Good luck!

North American residents only.


  1. Susan, this is so great to know that others face the same challenges as I do every day 3 times a day! I love what you have blogged and will come back and use some of your recipes for sure! Hope you and the family are all doing well. I miss you.

    1. Hi there Anonymous... could you tell me who you are? I would love for you to enter to win a copy of this amazing book! Comment on what your biggest meal challenge is... well be back on Thursday with a new #52New Foods post on this series.. tomorrow's post is getting ready for Halloween... Cheers and reveal :)

  2. My biggest meal time challenge is finding different dishes to prepare. It seems like the same things over and over again.

    1. Hi Lisa, meals can seem redundant because they are dishes you know your family will eat :) Change it up by substituting an ingredient to give the dish a new twist... grilled shrimp instead of chicken in a Caesar salad, or mashed sweet potatoes instead of using white. It's a great way to introduce new flavours and ingredients with foods they are already familiar with. Then you can start using these new substitutes as main ingredients and before you know it you'll have new ideas :) Thank you for your book entry! Good luck!

  3. Hi Susan,

    I've tried a few of your recipes and I love them! My biggest challenge is not having to cook two different meals (one for the kids and one for us). The kids don't always eat what we want to eat and vice versa. I probably just have a handful of recipes that we would all enjoy eating as a family. Would love to get more recipes that we would all enjoy!

  4. Hi Kathy, you made my day with your wonderful comments on my posts. I've had this challenge in the past when my kids were young, making two separate meals. What I did was make a few dishes, ones they liked and some new ones to introduce them to other flavours and ingredients. Slowly it became a meal for everyone. Also you can try making one batch of something, and splitting it up to customize the flavours to your kids liking ie; a portion of the stir-fry could be removed onto a plate, before you further jazz it up with other ingredients and seasoning for the adults. Or the same soup could be divided up into two pots to customize accordingly. Maybe it's the spices that's used... omit, or use less for them and more for you. Be creative and you'll find new ideas that will work for your family and one day everyone will be eating from the same pot :).

  5. The 52 New Foods Challenge Cookbook Giveaway Winner is....Lisa Breece! Congratulations! The winner will have 48 hours to respond, or another winner will be chosen. Please email me at, or add a comment to this post.

  6. Thanks Lisa for contacting me. This contest is officially closed. Thanks you!

  7. Looks like good and delicious definitely I will try this one. Thanks for sharing. :)
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    1. Thank you Riya. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Cheers!

    2. Thank you Riya. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Cheers!